Consider this my acknowledgement of the fact that I haven’t posted since… holy crap! August 10! And that was the day that so much happened 🙂

Anyway, I have a lot of boy-related news to share with you. And I’m apologizing in advance: this is kind of long. But I didn’t want to make you wait to hear all the details by making this a multi-part story.

For those of you who may have forgotten where we left off, I last told you all that I finally admitted my crush on my coworker. I’m calling him Company Ink (CI for short) for now until I think of a better nickname. Well, after inviting me over to his house that next night to watch a movie (which we actually watched, thankyouverymuch!), we spent hours making out on his couch.

I then proceeded to spend every available moment with him the rest of the weekend.

The most amazing part about everything is just how normal and natural it all feels. That anticipation as he leaned in for the first kiss– since I was finally sending the “I’m truly interested” and “OMG! Kiss me!” signals– and everything has flowed without any hesitation. Spending the entire weekend with him didn’t feel overwhelming or like we were going to fizzle out once reality hit (aka work the next day).

Even when we went rock climbing with his good friends on that Sunday, it was not a big deal that we were dating. It made sense to them and was kind of expected. Apparently, he had been lamenting to these friends about how he couldn’t figure out if I liked him or not, and even got them involved in trying to figure me out… As I explained to CI later, it wasn’t that I didn’t like him. It was the fact that I work with him that was my big hold-up. So they were never going to figure me out!

We’ve had quite a good laugh over how I just couldn’t figure out what to do. And my mom was appalled about just how mixed my signals actually were: I invited him over to my house to watch a movie in the middle of the day, but then cancelled on dinner when he was clearly asking me out on a date. I went to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival with him, but would drag coworkers along with us when he asked me to go to lunch. And that’s just the beginning. He sure is lucky (and relieved) I finally made up my mind!

My biggest anxiety about dating him was the fact that WE WORK TOGETHER! But come to find out? It’s really no big deal. I see him in the hallway, I chat with him just like I had before, and we give each other quick pecks on the lips when no one is around. (Let me just state for the record: soundless, quick kisses are completely disappointing… but that’s what we have to do for now since we still haven’t told anyone at work yet). So far, there’s not much difference between before and now– which is exactly like it should be. We have been able to maintain our professional/business relationship and keep our personal life outside of work hours. Well, except for the covert pinch I gave him in the elevator with all our coworkers around 😉

I’m really happy with how things have gone and it’s happened like I would have wanted– I was friends with him for almost 9 months before something romantic happened. Meaning: we were friends first. We know we can talk easily, we have a lot in common, and we connect on a deeper level than just physical attraction. I’ve dated guys where there really was no depth, and it was so unsatisfying on an emotional level. Instead, now I have someone I know I like to talk to and we can spend hours talking and hanging out– and it’s never strained or filled with awkward silences.

One of my favorite things has been that making plans has not felt stifling or overwhelming. He emailed me a link the other day that had a hotel deal in the mountains that we can go away for the weekend. So in a few weeks, I’ll be in Beaver Creek enjoying the views of the changing aspen trees and wandering a ski town I’ve never been to. We’re also talking about going to New York City for a weekend some time in November. Our company has every other Friday off, so it makes it really easy to plan long-weekend getaways really easily! He even told me, after a second-failed attempt to win “Book of Mormon” tickets, that we could just go see it on Broadway when we’re there…

So after spending most weekends together (when one of us isn’t out of town) and a couple of nights a week, we finally had THE talk.

We had spent 8 hours at Wash Park on Labor Day with a bunch of friends. My sister was introducing CI to her friends and she ended it with “he and my sister are…. dating?” He told me about the conversation on Tuesday and that was the catalyst that was needed to talk about what we were calling each other/what we were doing. We’d talked a couple of weeks ago about what we were looking for, so we knew at least we were on the same page there.

So, over some mediocre sushi, CI officially became my boyfriend!

To continue our natural progression of our relationship, even that conversation was simple, easy, and natural. It wasn’t dramatic or anxiety-filled. We knew we liked each other, we’ve been spending a lot of time together, and we want things to go to the next level.

Even though I don’t really like labels, especially that of boyfriend/girlfriend, because they sound cheesy and weird (which I explained to my mom that I now understand why Dan Savage calls Terry his “huuusband” on his podcast) I call CI my “buhfriend” (it sounds better if you hear it).

Company Ink has already been to 2 family nights, and tonight will be the third. It’s also the last family dinner The Roommate will be at for a while, but that’s for another post. I’m basking in the happy thoughts of me and CI and I’ll get to the “I’m really going to miss her” emotions and blogging tomorrow.

For now, I’m happy 🙂

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I probably shouldn’t admit this since my track record for talking about crushes is less than stellar.

But I have to get this off my chest.

I’ve developed a crush on the Sales Manager/Engineer at my office. He’s 29 (almost 30), a fellow CSU-alum, and we have gotten along since the minute he walked into our office.

It’s also clear that he has a crush on me as well, and has for quite some time.

I’ve never had to deal with inter-office romances because my old job was working with a bunch of men who were married and most could be my dad.

So I just spent the last 5 hours at a happy hour with him and neither of us noticed how much time had passed. Except that the sun had gone down, that was our only indication of how late it was. And all of our conversations are that easy and stress-less.

What do I do about this? Do I let something happen between us?

I have been aware of his affections from day one, but have (unintentionally) sent mixed signals about my feelings in return. Up until recently, I felt completely platonic towards him, but for some reason, those platonic feelings have morphed into romantic feelings.

Take tonight for example. I went with him back to our office so he could grab his computer, and my first thought was “how scandalous this could  be!” Then, as I was standing and looking out over the western horizon of city lights from our conference room, he joined me and my thought was “this could be incredibly romantic… I wonder what it would be like to kiss him…”

Nothing happened, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that I didn’t pay attention at all to what he said to me and was instead playing out fantasies in my head while he was talking. I mean, really. We were in a dark, empty office all by ourselves!

As I said before, I don’t know what to do. Has anyone ever dealt with this? I have friends who met because he was her intern and now are married, so I know it can work out in the end. Could it work out for us? Can it not be awkward? Or is the possibility of the drama that would occur if things don’t work out enough of a deterrent and it should be avoided at all costs? Please! Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thankfully The Roommate likes this guy, so I already have approval there. The Lawyer is also on board with it, too, but I think that’s more about winning a bet with himself about the fact that something happened when I so adamantly insisted that it never would.

For now, I’ll let it ride out and see where it goes. But I know those butterflies that have taken residence in my stomach wont let me forget my feelings any time soon… sigh…

I’m feeling really anxious at the moment, and I think all I need to do (hopefully) is process this a little bit here and I should relax…

Tomorrow is the final step in the drawn-out process that is the Getting Unemployment Payments. It takes a surprising amount of time and effort to get unemployment benefits. And even more work if the state initially declines your request.

Unfortunately, that’s what I’ve had to deal with for the last 3 months. I lost my job at the beginning of December (Merry Christmas…), and this final hearing is exactly three months later to the day. I’ve had to submit tons of paperwork, log-in weekly to prove that I was looking for work, and then had to fax in my reason that I believe that I deserve to get unemployment. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to make people put some effort in to get  the benefits– it shouldn’t just be handed to them– but it sure makes the entire process really long and uncomfortable.

Thankfully I have a hefty savings account that I was able to draw from and pay my bills, but if I didn’t have that, I don’t know what I would have done– probably move into my parents house…

So far, it’s been a relatively streamlined process. Submit paperwork, wait, get forms in the mail, fill out forms, wait, get more forms, etc. And most importantly, I  haven’t had to interact with any of my former employers.

However, tomorrow will be the first time I have had to interact with them and it’s really getting to me. I fully blame my supervisor for getting me fired, so I hold a lot of resentment towards her. But I have to interact with her and our supervisor to get through the final hearing.

I submitted my paperwork with the mantra: “I’m doing this for myself. I believe I was wrongfully fired and I need to stand up for what I believe.” But that was easy to do when all that required was writing a (somewhat long) letter defending myself and sending it via fax to some government office.

But now I will need to verbally defend myself in the presence of the two people who most resent in this world. I will need to stand my ground and essentially tell the court that the decision to deny me benefits was wrong, that their information is skewed and tell them that my employers were WRONG.

I don’t mind confrontation in my personal relationships, but if it involves telling someone that something they did was wrong or bad, I end up feeling bad that I feel bad and don’t want to deal with it any more.

And that’s what terrifies me about tomorrow.

I have to stand my ground, on my own, and let a judge (or whoever) make the decision as to whether or not they have to pay me > $2,000 in unemployment.

I’m nervous and anxious, and just thinking about it raises my heart-rate up to uncomfortable levels. Even talking about it with a friend at lunch today made me fidgety and nervous. Talking it out did not seem to help squelch my anxiety.

I thought talking about it would help ease my pain. But what I think will ultimately help is when it’s all over. I’ll probably have another terrible night sleep worrying about it tonight, but then I can sleep soundly tomorrow, knowing that it’s all over.

Wish me luck, because at tomorrow at 3:00, I’ll be standing up for myself like I never have before.

Zak graciously let me steal this idea from him, and I wanted to share it with you all. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, because they all seem cliche and I forget all about them in about 3 days. However, when it comes to my birthday, I seem to have no trouble contemplating my future.

I want this next year, my 26th year, to be one of the best ever! I want to do and see things that either A) I’ve never done before or B) should do more often. I live in one of the best outdoor-activity states and I rarely take advantage of having the mountains less than 30 minutes from my house.

So, without further ado, here are my 26 to-do’s for my 26th year:

  1. Hike a 14er
  2. Canoe/kayak Dillon Reservoir
  3. Go to the Sundance Film Festival
  4. Snowshoe in RMNP
  5. Fall in love
  6. Get the full bonus amounts at work each quarter
  7. Go to Cheyanne Mountain Zoo
  8. Have brunch at the Broadmoore
  9. Grow a lush garden
  10. Learn to roast a chicken
  11. Travel somewhere that requires my passport
  12. Travel somewhere outside of the state
  13. Eat at least one thing a week from our CSA bag
  14. Learn to grill the perfect steak
  15. Throw at least one party/get-together a month
  16. Have a reason to wear each of my three LBD’s
  17. Go on a full-moon snowshoe hike
  18. Treat myself to a shopping-spree for new clothes for work
  19. Go to at least one concert
  20. See fireworks in DC
  21. Go hiking with my parents at least once this summer
  22. Jump in a pile of freshly-raked leaves
  23. Ride my bike every day to work in the summer
  24. Make limoncello
  25. Go to a game for each of the Denver professional sports teams (except the Nuggets– I hate basketball)
  26. Write my 3rd NaNoWriMo novel in November

Come February 28 (ONE WEEK!!!), let the games begin 🙂 I’d love it if I could cross off every single one of these– wish me luck!

I just got back last night from a 3-day stint in North Dakota… it was for work– I would never go there voluntarily!

I spent the entire time praying my fingers and nose wouldn’t freeze and fall off. The high yesterday was -1 degrees if that gives you any indication of just how freaking cold it was!

However, it was one of the most informative trips I have ever taken! I got to see first-hand what it is that my company does and what each person does. I had a vague (and inaccurate) idea in my head, so it was good to see everyone in action and get explanations of what each person was doing and why.

My company does fracing, which is necessary to produce oil and natural gas from the ground. I’ve spent the last three years at a company who pays companies like mine to do their drilling and completion (aka fracing), so being on the service side of everything has been very educational. I got to see first-hand what my friend, and ex-coworker, did when he was sent to Texas for months on end a few years ago.

The other great thing about my trip was being able to put faces to names of people I work with. At my old company, I worked with (and interacted via email or the phone on a weekly, if not daily, basis) our superintendent in Utah who I never met– not once! To this day, I have no idea what he looks like. But with this trip, I got to meet every single person I’ll be interacting with. It’s amazing how knowing what someone looks like helps you connect with them more.

I also got to tour a drilling rig while we were out there. The guy took us on an extensive tour (including showing us their break room… yeah, I don’t know why either…) but then we got to stand on the platform where they were tripping— I felt smug about being the only person in our group who knew what the hell he was talking about and knew what they were doing and why.

Writing out drilling reports was the first thing I did when I started helping the engineering department (more specifically, the drilling engineer) way back when. So, of everything I saw and did, seeing the drilling reports come to life was probably the most exciting thing I saw. In all fairness, fracing doesn’t give drilling much competition– besides touring the drilling rig and trying not to freeze to death– I spent my days in the frac van watching a giant monitor with a bunch of squiggly lines, the tubes and lines already placed at the wellhead so there was nothing to watch outside. So watching guys grab 40’+ lengths of tubing and placing them in a machine to be drilled miles into the earth was waaaay more interesting!

I’m loving my job and  have learned more in the last 3 weeks then I could have ever imagined! I have the drilling and completion engineers to thank for my initial education. I’m also getting a more education from the completion engineer, even though I don’t work with him any more– I have about a dozen emails from him with things to read about fracing and the process of completing a well.

I’m feeling so light and happy about my life and work right now. I know part of it is based on the fact that I’m no longer unemployed, but the fact that I was offered a job at a place that respects and values their employees so much is such a strange phenomenon to me, that I didn’t realize just how unhappy I was. I only hope my friends at my old job can find work at different companies that make them just as happy as I am (because my old company is a soul-sucking vacuum of egos and assholes).

Life is so good right now, I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store for me!

I have a birthday coming up (and when I say coming up, it’s not for another month…), and the weeks leading up to it always send me into more of an introspective state of mind– much more than any New Years eve ever has.

The “birthday resolution” that has been spinning around my head for a while is this:

Don’t continue to do something if it doesn’t make you happy.

This is especially important in regards to drinking wine 😉

Of course, having to do things like pay bills is non-negotiable, but otherwise, most things are up for discussion. I spent the last year of my life at a job I hated, I was in a relationship at the beginning of the year that I was bored out of my mind about, and I went running even though I dreaded it.

So instead of spending my time lamenting about things that are fully within my power to change, I just need to change them. As I’ve mentioned before, I thrive off change, so I took the initiative to change the things that were making me unhappy. I hated my job, so I started looking for a new one (my bosses beat me to the punch before I could quit), I ended the relationship with the bore, and I stopped going running– with every good intention of doing something else instead… still working on that one.

This “resolution” is especially important in regards to romantic relationships. I’ve dated a lot and have been unhappy/disappointed more times than not. So, this year is going to be not only about being happy in all aspects of my work and social life, but I fully intend for my romantic life to follow suit.

I already started to implement this “resolution” last year but I was not fully committed to it. So being intentional about choosing happiness and taking the risk to change the things to make that possible is what this “birthday resolution” is all about.

However, it does get awkward when the change that is required for my happiness relies on having to break things off with someone I’m dating– but in the end, it’s better for everyone. Yes, having to call a guy and say “I’m no longer interested in seeing you” is incredibly uncomfortable, but boy does it take the load off.

I’ve tried to do the teenager-maturity-level-approved method of just trying to ignore the guy and hope he gets the hint. It doesn’t work that way, and then I just spent my time being annoyed every time they’d try to contact me, frustrated they didn’t just go away. I’ve also had guys treat me that way, so I know how shitty it feels when you know you’re being ignored. That method doesn’t make it easier on anyone.

But the times I was up front about what I was thinking and (not) feeling, they took the news with grace and I haven’t heard from them again. No one likes getting broken up with, but when the other person is honest, at least there is closure and mutual understanding about where the relationship stands.

Relationships and change are scary. There are so many things that have kept me from embracing a new life– and with that, a new happiness. Since I’ve been single I’ve realized something: once I didn’t let those things stand in my way, I ended up so much happier than I could have imagined. The unknown is scary, but every time I’ve been brave enough to embrace the unknown (there’s not much more of an unsettling change as a divorce), I’ve ended up exponentially happier than I could have even begun to imagine.

And that’s the happiness I want to harness this year, and all my years to come. By doing things for myself and keeping my happiness my central focus, I know I will be more satisfied with life and will enjoy my life, friends, work, and beaus that much more.

I want to be happy and fulfilled and I will do the work to be that way. That is going to be my present to myself this year… Well, that and some super-cute boots!

(And how interesting! I wrote this post and then the very next blog I read was Britt’s post about this very thing: Go here to read her thoughts on choosing happiness.)

I started my new job this last week and it was so nice to get back into a routine. I’m excited to get back to work (not just because I need the money, but I was becoming one with my couch cushions), and I am really excited about the potential that my job has for my success in my job. It’s going to teach  me a lot and I’m going to be at the ground floor of implementing procedures that will be used for the company’s future. I’m highly organized (when it comes to data– my desk on the other hand…) so this kind of stuff really interests me.

But the best thing so far– my coworkers!

To say that my old job was “toxic” would be an understatement. The VP of land is the boss from hell and even though he really holds no seniority over any of the other management (or anyone not in the land department), everyone catered to his every whim and temper-tantrum. I had a couple of friends in the office, as well as some allies, but to say I enjoyed my job or where I worked would be a lie.

The breath of fresh air that my new coworkers bring is so incredibly rejuvenating, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing they are. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after the simple act of one of the upper-management guys joining my other coworkers in taking me out to lunch on my first day. It’s small things like that which shows the true character of an office and people in general.

It’s a VERY small office, but everyone seems to get along and like working together. And that is so foreign to me– it’s taking me a while to get used to it. I never realized how closed off and stuffy my old office was until I started at my new job.

I’m now looking forward to going to work and seeing my coworkers (instead of counting it a good day if I only had to interact with the VP of land once that day).

This new chapter is going to be AMAZING!